If you are a digital nomad considering Asia as your destination, Taiwan and Thailand are two popular options. Both countries have well-established digital nomad visa programs, but with differing regulations. In this post, we will compare and contrast the digital nomad visa requirements of Taiwan and Thailand to help you make an informed decision.
Digital Nomad Visa Requirements: Taiwan vs Thailand
Taiwan has a premium Gold Card Visa program aimed at attracting foreign professionals to the country. Below are the key details of the Taiwan digital nomad visa program:
- Open to highly-skilled professionals who have received national or international recognition or have made significant contributions in one of the following fields: Science and Technology, Economy, Finance, Education, Culture and Arts, Sports, Law, Architectural Design, National Defense, Special Cases recognized by the NDC.
- Standard requirements vary based on the profession and more details can be found on the official government website (hyperlinked to respective fields).
- For most of the fields of the EGC application, having a monthly salary of at least TWD160,000 (approx. US$5,670) is one of the conditions which the applicant must meet. However, this salary requirement is not applicable for applicants in the fields of Education, Culture and Arts, and Sports.
- Applicants cannot have a criminal record.
Duration of Stay
- The Gold Card Visa is valid for up to three years, and it is renewable.
Cost of Visa
- The cost of the visa ranges from US$122 to US$275 depending on the applicant’s nationality.
- If a foreign individual spends more than 183 days in Taiwan, they will be considered a tax resident.
- Visa holders who work in Taiwan for the first time will be eligible for a 50% tax deduction for the first 5 years on their annual salary over NT$3 million (approx. US$107,000).
- Under the immigration incentive regulation released on February 18, 2018, foreign individuals who have qualified for the 1st time ARC with a special work permit and stayed in Taiwan over 183 days within a calendar year during their qualified special work permit period can enjoy a 50% tax exemption on the excess of annual wage of NTD 3 million (approx. US$107,000) for a maximum of three years during their permit's valid period.
- Visa holders employed in Taiwan can join the National Health Insurance (NHI) system along with their dependents.
Thailand has a Long Term Resident Visa (LTRV) program, which is considered one of the most accessible digital nomad visa programs in the region. Here are the details of the Thailand digital nomad visa program:
- The applicant must have a valid passport with at least one year of remaining validity and no criminal record.
- The applicant must have relevant working experience for five years over the past 10 years.
- The applicant should have an annual income of at least USD 80,000 over the past two years, or if their annual income is between USD 40,000 and USD 80,000, they need to have at least a Master's degree, own intellectual property, or receive Series A funding.
- The applicant's current employer should either be a public company listed on a stock exchange anywhere or private company operating for at least three years with a revenue of at least US$150 million.
- The applicant must have health insurance with coverage of at least US$50,000 or Social Security Benefits supporting treatment in Thailand or a bank deposit of no less than US$100,000.
- A letter of verification issued within the last 10 years by the country of residence/nationality indicating a clear criminal record might be required.
Duration of Stay
- The LTRV is valid for ten years, with multiple entries.
- The initial visa is granted for five years and can be extended for another five years if the qualifications are met.
- There are no limitations on work, but the individual needs to be aware of the Permanent Establishment (PE) issue for the activity carried on in Thailand for the benefit of a foreign entity.
Cost of Visa
- The government fee for the LTRV is THB 50,000 (approx. US$1,600) per person for a 10-year visa with multiple entries.
- The government fee of THB 3,000 (approx. US$100) per year is required to maintain Digital Work Permit.
- Under this visa program, tax on overseas income is exempted.
Other Conditions and Requirements
- The applicant needs to show proof of remote work.
- Original bank statements may be required.
Both Taiwan and Thailand have excellent digital nomad visa programs that are worth exploring. Choosing between the two will depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and work requirements. Taiwan's Gold Card Visa program is suited for highly-skilled professionals who have made significant contributions in their fields, while Thailand's Long Term Resident Visa program is ideal for those with a higher income and relevant work experience. Both countries offer affordable living costs and diverse cultural experiences, as well as reliable internet connectivity and workspace options. Consider your priorities and choose the visa program that best suits your needs.